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Let’s start by reading 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

There is instruction in these verses for both the husband and the wife.  To the wife, the Lord says, “Let not the wife depart from her husband.”  The Greek word for depart in this portion is ‘chorizo’ which is translated ‘asunder’ in Matthew 19:5-6, “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”  This word is translated ‘separate’ in Romans 8:35.  The lesson here is that the wife should not separate or put their marriage asunder.

To the husband, the Lord says, “let not the husband put away his wife.”  The Greek word for put away in this portion is ‘aphiemi’ which is translated ‘leave’ in Matthew 18:12, “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?”  This word is translated ‘sent away’ in Mark 4:36.  We see clearly that the husband is not to leave or send his wife away.

Marriage is such a serious commitment and should not be entered into lightly.  Marriage is meant to last a lifetime.  In today’s society, divorce and remarriage is so common that the seriousness of it has almost been lost.  The teaching of 1 Corinthians 7 are very clear and emphatic.  The wife is not supposed to leave her husband.  If for some reason she cannot stay with him she is to remain single or be reconciled to her husband.  Unless there are scriptural grounds for divorce, the woman is not free to remarry.  The same goes for the husband.

What would be a scriptural ground for divorce?  If there is unfaithfulness in the marriage, the innocent party would be free to divorce.  Matthew 19:9 says, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  Another scriptural ground for divorce would be abandonment as we just read in 1 Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”  Here we see that if one departs, the other one is no longer under the bond of marriage.  In either case, divorce is not a requirement, but is permitted.  I have seen several marriages work out after there had been fornication or after one had left the other one.

What does the Lord think of divorce?  Malachi 2:16 says, ““I hate divorce,” says the LORD.”  Pretty clear, isn’t it?  What does the majority of Christians think of divorce?  Regrettably, 50% of Christian marriages in the United States end in divorce.  This is shameful.  We are just not listening to the Word of God as we should.

If you are married, you might remember the vows you repeated on your wedding day.  You promised to love your spouse.  So many people today say they just don’t love their spouses anymore.  When we promise to love someone, we are stating that we realize we have control over who we love and we commit ourselves to loving our spouses.  It’s a serious commitment; one the Lord expects us to keep.

In today’s society divorce and remarriage has no stigma.  It is commonplace.  Realizing that the Lord hates divorce, let’s all be before the Lord, asking Him to guide us in our marriage relationships.  If we are having problems, let’s seek good Godly counsel to help us solve our problems.  Let us be careful to love the things that the Lord loves and hate the things that the Lord hates.  (39.2)